Securing Land Rights and Tenure Security amid Increasing Pressure from Large Scale Agricultural Investment in Tanzania

By Godfrey Eliseus Massay, January 2015

The Land Policy Initiative (LPI) organized the Inaugural Conference on Land Policy in Africa from 11 to 14 November 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference carried a key theme “The next decade of land policy in Africa: ensuring agricultural development and inclusive growth.” This theme was selected in support of the declaration of 2014 by the African Union as the “Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa”. I attended the conference on behalf of Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) and have gathered number of key points that can be used by members of TNRF and many other actors in the country. Throughout the conference issues that relate to land tenure, sustainable large-scale investment, small-scale farming, rights of the commons and women rights were given more attention.

Current Issues on Land and Forest related Investments in Tanzania

This scoping study was commissioned to identify issues on land/forest related investment in Tanzania as part of a strategic engagement between Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF), HAKIARDHI/ LARRRI and the World Wide Fund for Nature – Coastal East Africa Initiative (WWF-CEAI). These organizations are working on a partnership initiative to identify existing channels, challenges and opportunities for mitigating land and natural resources related conflicts in Tanzania. This initiative is also aimed at finding suitable means that can promote smart land-based investment practices in Tanzania.Specifically, this study was commissioned to identify necessary interventions and point of entry for TNRF in relation to this partnership and its priority strategic areas.

A preparatory phase which is a collaborative work between TNRF and the Mama Misitu Campaign (MMC) involved a scoping exercise in Kibaha, Kilwa and Handeni Districts during October/November 2013 to identify opportunities and challenges in forest and related products trade in the chain of harvesting to export. This study involved review of various documents on land and forest governance and related investments''. 

IN THE NEWS: Ethnic Sandawe now want govt to protect their culture

Sandawe ethnic group in central Tanzania Mainland have asked authorities to put in place measures that protect their environment, identity and culture citing economic activities by other communities that threaten their very survival.

The Sandawe who inhabit Chemba and Kondoa districts, in Dodoma Region, are predominantly a hunter-gatherer tribe who earn their living from the surrounding environment.

They said unlike in the past, their unique life and culture are at risk of disappearing owing to unabated invasion of their areas and degradation of the environment by ‘immigrants.’

The tribesmen were speaking this week during a community inception workshop on the state of land based investment and resource conflicts organized and conducted by the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) at Kwamtoro Ward in the district.

IN THE NEWS: Govt intervention sought to end land conflict killings in Dodoma

Following a series of land conflict related killings in several villages in the new Nchemba District, Dodoma Region, villagers and leaders in the district are calling for immediate intervention from the central government.

The villagers of Farkwa, Ovada and Kwamtoro wards have since January this year, seen at least five people ruthlessly killed and more than ten seriously injured as a result of the land conflicts.

They were speaking at the community inception workshop on ‘The state of land based investment and resource conflicts’ organised and conducted by the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) at Kwamtoro ward in the district.

Ovada ward councilor, Pius Majengo told participants from the three wards in the district that the killings occurred in different occasions at Handa and Lahoda villages in Lalta ward, and Bubutole village in Farkwa ward.

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